Stop the Envy: Focus Inward
I'm not sure why but the buzz of society today is to bring down anyone who is deemed "too successful". Too successful = too evil. Look around you, a corporation becomes too big = evil. An athlete becomes to successful = he's greedy/on drugs/evil/etc. Your neighbor gets a new car = evil/must be doing something wrong to be able to afford that. A fellow blogger gets a book deal = she must be ignoring her kids to get that kind of success.
On and on and nauseatingly on it goes. We dissolve others success by finding the root cause of why they REALLY ARE successful. We don't feel like we can just say they work hard and they deserve it.
In a country founded on do-it-yourself-ers, we have turned on our heads and become "into my selfers". We are ok with the success of our friends and neighbors AS LONG AS they do not become so successful that we feel we couldn't "catch up".
Recently on Facebook I stated:
"Don't blame Pinterest or blogs or Facebook or your neighbor or your friends or anyone else for making you feel like an inferior mother. Blame the fact that you are comparing what YOU are doing with what everyone else is doing. It's YOUR problem to fix and no one else's. I'm tired of the "lets bring down the go-getters because I can't/don't wanna/don't feel like doing what they do" attitude. You do you and I'll do me."
There's a virus going around the internet and it's called "find someone to blame". We no longer celebrate the go-getter. We get a pail of rocks and stone her for daring to move faster than us.
Friend after friend after friend of mine has stopped posting the crafts, kid activities, dinners, projects etc that they make on any form of social media. Why? Because instead of being met with "That is awesome, amazing, I love it, go you!" she is met with "Where were your kids? What kind of drugs are you on to be able to get so much done? What a waste of time to do that for your husband/kids/friends?'. She is brought to her knees with criticism and harsh words because she is doing something her friends are not.
And those who criticize usually cite Pinterest as being at fault. "I've had to stop Pinterest/Instagram/FB because IT makes me feel like I'm a failure as a mom/wife/friend. Pinterest/FB/IG sets impossible standards to keep up with".
Step 1: Stop allowing anything but YOU to dictate how you feel. YOU choose to let those media outlets make you feel that way. YOU are the root of that problem.
Step 2: Realize that when you are looking at Pinterest/FB/IG you are looking at the collective genius of THOUSANDS of women and not just one.
As many of you know, I love Wonder Woman and it's not because she looks great in a unitard. It's because to me, she is my visual reminder of Proverbs 31. She is strong, confident and goes after what she feels is right, despite the evils of the world. She knows what's right and she goes after it. She doesn't check with other super heroes first. I look at her and I see all of my potential via Proverbs 31.
The Proverbs 31 woman does not leave her house and go see what her neighbor is up to before setting out to conquer her day. Part of the reason for not doing that, I think, is because if you leave your "house" unattended for long enough, the burglars will take notice and come to reek havoc, evils will enter in and you will return home to a mess.
The same goes today. Before you set out to start your day, take your own inventory, no need to inventory for the neighbors. Secure your own home, leave no corner for evils to enter into.
In other words, do not leave your heart and mind unattended while you put someone else's in check. Seek what God wants from YOU today and you will accomplish all He has in store.
My most successful days are the ones where I weed out MY wants and focus on His. He gives us just enough time to accomplish all He has in store for us.
If you find yourself flustered at the end of the day maybe it's because you have much on your list that He did not put there? If you are combative with a successful friend maybe it's because you've picked up the wrong "to-do" list and have wasted your time slinging arrows where they weren't meant to be aimed.
I can tell you that the weight of someones criticism of how you spend your time can weigh heavily on the person you direct it to. I can tell you that it steals their Joy and burdens them with guilt.
Until we get over it and realize that it's not us, it's them.
Already a month in and I wonder, can 2013 be the year that we stop comparing ourselves to others and be genuinely happy at the hard earned, honest, success of others? Can we put aside our weapons of mommy war (words, judgements and criticisms) and just learn how to be happy for each other that we are getting done all HE has on our list of things to do?
If you want to be more crafty, bake more, sew more, read more, be more loving, spend more time with your kids/husband/friends then DO that. Start. Go now. Don't waste another minute trying to knock down the more successful. That is time that is better spent elsewhere.
Rejoice with those who rejoice! Go find someones success to genuinely celebrate! Be happy at others accomplishments. The Joy will bounce back and move you forward.
And if you can't do that...ask for prayer. Seek help to figure out why you feel the need to bring others down. And I don't say that lightly. I say it because a bitter heart is a heavy (unnecessary) thing to lug around.
Make 2013 the year of the cheerleader and stomp out the trolls that bring the go-getters down.